New LIAT should have two hubs to ensure efficiency

LIAT ATR aircraft

Establishing two hubs for the newly-formed version of LIAT has been suggested as a potential measure to ensure the carrier’s operations are as efficient as possible. CLICK HERE TO JOIN OUR WHATSAPP GROUP FOR NEWS UPDATES.

“I think, based on what has been observed and what we have learned over the past seven to ten years, perhaps the best fit is to have two hubs in the Caribbean for an expanded subregional carrier,” Information Minister Melford Nicholas said yesterday.

Nicholas was asked during the post-Cabinet media briefing whether the Antigua and Barbuda government would be willing to consider relocating LIAT 2020’s primary base to Barbados, as was suggested and explored a couple of years ago with LIAT 1974 Ltd as a move to stabilise the airline’s finances.

Back then, it was proposed that relocating to Barbados would allow the carrier to benefit more from the lucrative southern Caribbean travel market.

“Clearly, when they had moved much of the aircraft into Barbados to make realisation of the natural hub [there], what they had in fact done was to reduce the availability of airlift on the northern side of the Caribbean.

“For example, from Antigua – acting as a hub – to get into the Virgin Islands and even to St Maarten and Puerto Rico as important shopping destinations for persons, or perhaps even getting to the Dominican Republic where there has been a significant traffic flow between residents here who have family, friends and historical ties to [the DR], those markets have not been served well as a result of the movement that took place in the latter stages of LIAT 1974 Ltd,” Nicholas explained

The minister noted that there is a gap in service in the northern Caribbean, also hinting that both Barbados and Antigua and Barbuda could potentially play a major role in the new LIAT going forward.

“It’s clear that there is a market opportunity on the northern side of the Caribbean, which was not served well within the past ten years, in deference to the larger numbers of persons who are moving into the southern Caribbean, especially to include Guyana.

“So, classically, what it does represent is that – for operational efficiency – there ought to be two hubs. Perhaps Barbados would be one and Antigua would be another, to ensure that we can optimally serve all of the interest for movement of persons across the Caribbean in all circumstances,” he said.

The Antigua and Barbuda government is moving ahead with its efforts to build out LIAT 2020, having commenced the recruitment of staff and considering various proposals to maintain efficiency, including the application of minimum revenue guarantees.

These plans have also been boosted after a decision was finally reached by LIAT 1974 Ltd’s shareholding governments – Antigua and Barbuda, Dominica, Barbados and St Vincent and the Grenadines – to liquidate the long-struggling airline.

Source: Antigua Observer

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  1. I trust they have read my many comments on this topic. LIAT should not try to fly long haul flights. We need to divide the territory into smaller regions. If Antigua is a hub/headquarter, the next headquarter should start in Barbados and the next in Trinidad. A flight originated in Antigua should terminate in Barbados and from Barbados should terminate in Trinidad and from Trinadad should terminate in Surinam. One airline but several heads. Antigua would be the Eastern Caribbean Head. We have too many egos at stake to satisfy. So, let’s divide up the territory like the mafia used to do. That way everyone will have a piece of the pie.

  2. So they are awaiting the Nigerians to resurrect LIAT, in whatever shape or form?! Rumors have it that the Nigerians want over 80% voting shares, putting in 2 aircraft and less than 10 million? Well Antiguans look out. If this is the saving grace of LIAT you are being conned.

    How many Nigerians would be coming to Antigua to take all the top jobs, 35? What are all the other benefits that we as Antiguans will be giving up? That Guyanese Administrator along with those three foolish directa / Execs are selling out a prestigious Antiguan company to the Nigerians for cents. Wondering minds would like to know how much is he might be paid for that under hand deal? Or is he?

  3. St Vincent and the grenadines to benefit from new air carrier this was published in the st Vincent times on August 16. Two jet stream 31 aircraft will begin operations within the eastern Caribbean the Barbados based Executive air and blue star have partnered to operate the service the flights will operate between Dominica,st Lucia st Vincent Grenada and Barbados.

  4. I think logistically Trinidad would make a better hub for the southern Caribbean and Antigua for the North.

  5. Sounds good on paper but to many cooks does spoil the broth just asking but how many planes does liat have access to right now it would take a minimum of 6 planes to get started and another 4 or more to sustain flights.

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